It wasn't particularly pretty, but the Robert Saleh era in New York came with promising returns.
While New York Giants head coach Joe Judge chose to get an extended look at some of his backups, Saleh took a more traditional approach to the first preseason game. And in the end, the New York Jets snuck away with a 12-7 win, stifling the Giants offense from start to finish and icing the contest with a sack-safety with 1:39 remaining.
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So far, so good for No. 2 overall: Zach Wilson only took 10 dropbacks Saturday night, but he still gave the Jets' faithful plenty of reasons for excitement. He ripped a nice comeback to free-agent signing Corey Davis as well as a dig to Keelan Cole. Wilson went 6-for-9 for 63 yards with an average depth of target of only 5.9 yards downfield on the day. While it was a very limited sample size, Wilson showed no signs of worry in his first NFL game.
Robert Saleh’s debut: It’s not going to matter in any record book, but Robert Saleh’s head coaching debut gave a vastly different impression than the Jets made a year ago. They didn’t allow a score until 7:05 left in the fourth quarter, and the defense was rallying all night. Veterans such as C.J. Mosley, Sheldon Rankins and Jarrad Davis all graded out well and looked like ideal fits for the Jets' new scheme.
Giants Send out the B squad: It was difficult to glean too much on how the Giants will look this year after they sent out mostly backups against the Jets. The vast majority of their starters were DNPs Saturday, including quarterback Daniel Jones. While the fans in the stands were likely disappointed, keeping their core starters healthy is far more important at this point.
Safety Converts: Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood are amid position changes that are growing even more common in the modern NFL. While both played safety in college, they are now playing linebacker in the pros. Both made their presence felt on Saturday as they were involved in a forced fumble on the goal line. With the physical part often a worry for safety converts, Sherwood and Nasirildeen looked solid out the gate. They finished as two of the Jets' highest-graded defenders.